Export Ireland Survey

On Wednesday November 13th I had the pleasure to attend a reception to launch the Irish Exporters Association’s “Export Ireland Survey & International Trade Finance Review for 2013”. The reception was hosted by Grant Thornton and they were also sponsors of the publication.

The main objective of the publication is to research and measure the opinions and expectations of companies in Ireland in relation to their export activities. Every year hundreds of companies participate providing their highly valuable input.  The results allow the main stakeholders in the Irish economy to have a better understanding of the state of the Irish export industry and allows the IEA to present the findings to Government and propose actions to be taken to improve export performance.

Irish Export Industry

Speaking to Simon McKeever, CEO of the Irish Exporters Association, he said “Our survey provides an insightful annual temperature check on the challenges and opportunities affecting the Irish Export Industry.  This year the survey shows positive momentum with  increased plans to introduce new products and services over the next 2 years, and a positive trend in the number of sales people recruited over the last 12 months. “ However we cannot afford to be complacent.  Our competitiveness remains an issue for many small businesses. We need to encourage more Irish firms to export, to help them identify opportunities and to win business successfully overseas.  We are grateful for the professional expertise brought to the survey by our economic adviser Philip Halpin and the continued support of our partner Grant Thornton.

My thanks to Simon for granting me permission to use content from their publication. It is an excellent survey/review and I would urge any company involved in the export business or considering entering new markets to contact the IEA to discuss the findings in more detail and see how they can be of help.

There are seven main parts to the survey and these are:

  1. Challenges in the marketplace and opportunities facing exporters
  2. Currency issues
  3. Trade Finance and Banking
  4. Payment Issues
  5. Credit Management
  6. Support for Exporters
  7. Grant Thornton Review

The Guest of Honour was Mr Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance, Mr Patrick Burke, Partner Grant Thornton welcomed the guests, Mr Colin Lawlor – President of the Irish Exporters Association spoke on behalf of the IEA and Mr Philip Halpin, Economic Advisor to the IEA presented the findings.

The Report

The publication showed that the “green shoots” are coming alive as we emerge from our deep recession; they also tell us about the challenges our exporters feel as they develop new markets.

Some interesting points to emerge from this excellent report show that:

  • 80% of businesses expect exports to increase in 2014
  • 70% of respondents are targeting new markets
  • 88% plan to introduce new products and services over the next two years
  • 51% of exporters have recruited new sales staff over the past twelve months
  • 45% expect to increase their R&D spend in 2014
  • 95% of respondents export to ensure sustainability of their business
  • 61% see exporting as having helped them understand their home market more

The Irish Exporters Association can be contacted on + 353 1 661 2182 / iea@irishexporters.ie or at www.irishexporters.ie

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Irish Trade Mission to Moscow

Ulster Bank often works with Enterprise Ireland in their efforts to assist Irish companies in the SME sector develop their export business.

We do this in many ways, some recent examples involved speaking at their Funding for Growth seminars, joint hosting of events on doing business is a variety of markets and travelling on Trade Missions with Enterprise Ireland and their clients to key business markets.

Recently Gerry Ennis, Head of Trade Finance at Ulster Bank (pictured here with Minister of State Alan Kelly and Patrick Edmond of Shannon Airport)  attended a trade mission to Moscow , organised by Enterprise Ireland and led by the Minister of State Alan Kelly, and he has provided the following report on the trip:

Two trade missions to Moscow

Two trade missions to Moscow took place at the same time (Aviation and Agriculture) and in excess of 40 people travelled from Ireland. Each mission was fully supported by the Irish Embassy in Moscow.

The Irish Aviation / Transportation mission focused on the growing opportunities for Irish companies in that sector. It was interesting to hear that the aviation industry in Ireland is directly responsible for 26,000 jobs with an estimated further 16,000 jobs supported in the aviation supply chain. This sector contributes in excess of €4bn to Ireland’s GDP. The second group of companies attended an “Innovation in Agriculture” trade mission , these were companies providing product and services to a very dynamic market in Russia.

Irish exports of goods to Russia for the first eight months of 2013 were €434m , up 8.5% on the same period last year. It is interesting to note that our Imports at €109m for the same period this year is only one quarter of our exports.

Russia is not an easy market to crack, having said that many of the companies on these missions have shown that they can sell their product successfully throughout Russia and also to neighbouring countries such as Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland have a fantastic team based in Moscow , led by Gerry McCarthy and ably supported by his colleagues – all of whom were excellent hosts to attendees on the mission. Our Ambassador to Russia, Eoin O’Leary and his team were very involved and supportive of the mission. The Embassy and Enterprise Ireland both have an open door policy when it comes to supporting Irish companies as they seek to develp their business in Russia. Gerry can be seen here in the company of Ambassador O’Leary.

During the trip I attended a dinner hosted by Enterprise Ireland and in excess of 200 people , Irish and Russian were present at a hotel within a stone’s throw of the Kremlin. Ambassador O’Leary hosted an evening reception at the Embassy on another evening. At other times I networked with these companies to explore ways in which we could work together. I also visited the main local banks in the company of Natalia from the local RBS office in an effort to promote Ireland but more importantly to promote the bank in Ireland to these major banking giants. RBS employs close to 300 people in Russia, with offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Sakhalin.

I would be pleased to talk to any of our readers if we can be of any assistance to you as you seek to explore new business opportunities in Russia or for any emerging market in fact. My main contact details are as follows:

Telephone: +353 1 643 1724
Mobile: + 353  87 7681263
E-Mail: gerry.ennis@ulsterbankcm.com

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